New research shows malaria spread from gorillas

09/23/2010 | AlertNet

The Plasmodium falciparum parasite that causes malaria in humans is virtually identical to a parasite carried by some gorillas, leading researches to believe that malaria may have originated in gorillas -- and may have originally spread from a single gorilla to a single human. Though wild apes of many categories are often host to many different types of the Plasmodium parasite, only gorillas are infected with a species of the parasite that so closely resembles the malaria parasite that infects humans.

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